TITLE: Where There Were Deserts, I Saw Fountains
GENRE: YA SFF
Joni Margulis fiddled with her camera, attaching it to a wooden railing. Down the hill below her was the Schuylkil River winding its way past Boathouse Row to center city Philadelphia. Behind her was the art museum, rose-colored in the light of the setting spring sun. At her feet was her dog, Grendel, big and brown, slobbering over a tennis ball she had been chasing for the last ten minutes. And hastily taped to a nearby bench, unnoticed by Joni or Grendel or the tourists wandering about, was an envelope containing a photo of Joni, dead.
Joni stared at the screen of her camera.
Aiming at the river, Joni saw a few dozen people on the patio by the water. She muttered to herself. Crowds had been gathering ever since someone had taken a blurry cell phone picture of something in the water. It might have been a large aquatic monster, it might have been a trick of the shadows, or it might have just been a doctored photograph. Joni was certain the last was true. The local media, however, had decided it was clearly a monster and had even dubbed it “Schuylkill Sally.” It annoyed Joni no end. Each day tourists walked over from the Rocky statute, hoping to catch a glimpse of Sally. Even worse was that Kelly, her best friend and next-door neighbor, was obsessed with the alleged creature. Kelly had been at the river mere moments before the incident occurred and now she would talk of nothing else.